Quick look at the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship
February 19, 2020
By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
- A look at the 17th hole at Club de Golf Chapultepec. (Hector Vivas/Getty Images)
The PGA TOUR has left the west coast and begins its eastward trek by crossing the southern border for the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship. This is the first World Golf Championship of the calendar year and second of the season. This is the fourth year that the Golf Club de Chapultepec will host the world’s best players. The 7,345 yard course plays much shorter than advertised because of its high altitude, but long-hitting Dustin Johnson is still the man to beat in Mexico City. Johnson has won two of the three tournaments at Chapultepec, where the thin air allows players to unleash long, straight drives. The course’s main defense is thick trees, which gives pros the chance to display their crazy recovery skills, and small, sloping greens that allow players to take circuitous routes on their short-game shots. Hole-outs seem to be plentiful on these firm putting surfaces. In other words, players from around the globe have gathered to face one of the year’s most unique tests.
THREE PLAYERS TO PONDER
The finishing hole is played uphill and has a slight curve to the left. The trees around the tee make the first shot very narrow, and a bunker on the right must be avoided. The fairway is relatively wide, leaving an uphill shot with a mid- or short-iron to an elevated green protected by two deep bunkers. The green has a constant and pronounced slope toward the front and a hill on the right. It’s best known for the wedge that Justin Thomas holed here to eagle the 72nd hole and force a playoff with Phil Mickelson in 2018. Mickelson went on to win.
Club de Golf Chapultepec - 18th hole
The altitude makes the 316-yard, par-4 opening hole easily drivable. The hole turns sharply right at the end, so players must carry a line of trees to reach the green. Players averaged 3.7 strokes on the hole, including 10 eagles. The hole actually has two greens, but the right green is used for the tournament.
From meteorologist Wade Stettner: Sunny skies and warm afternoon temperatures are forecast on Wednesday and Thursday. A cold front will reach Mexico City on Friday morning with cooler temperatures and a chance of showers. Temperatures will warm over the weekend with partly cloudy skies.
For the latest weather news from Mexico City, check out the PGA TOUR Weather Hub.
SOUND CHECKIt's always nice to come to a country where they speak Spanish. The culture, it's a lot more similar to what it is in Spain. Good food, good hospitality, good golf course. It doesn't really get much better than this.
BY THE NUMBERS
2: Number of Mexican players in the field, the most in the tournament’s history. Because Abraham Ancer was already eligible for this event, Carlos Ortiz earned a spot in the field as the next Mexican in the Official World Golf Ranking. Ortiz is 24th in the FedExCup thanks to a runner-up at the Mayakoba Golf Classic and two T4 finishes.
19: Number of countries represented, with the United States leading the way with 23 players in the field, followed by England and South Africa with seven each.
21: Players making their WGC-Mexico Championship debut this week, with eight making their first start in a World Golf Championships event (Carlos Ortiz, Lucas Herbert, Marcus Kinhult, Lanto Griffin, Collin Morikawa, Sebastian Muñoz, Zach Murray, Scottie Scheffler)
Twelve of the 13 winners of the WGC-Mexico Championship in the FedExCup era have advanced to the season-ending TOUR Championship. That includes a streak of 11 in a row, tied for the most of any tournament on the PGA TOUR. … When Johnson won last year’s WGC-Mexico Championship, he became the 38th player to win 20 or more PGA TOUR titles. Johnson’s six World Golf Championship titles are second only to Tiger Woods’ 18. … Justin Thomas has finished in the top 10 in all three starts at the Golf Club de Chapultepec. He also has shot the course record twice, setting it with a third-round 62 in 2018 and matching it in last year’s final round. No one else has shot 62 at Chapultepec in the WGC-Mexico. … Seven players have made a World Golf Championships event their first PGA TOUR win: Darren Clarke (2000 Dell Technologies Match Play), Craig Parry (2002 FedEx St. Jude Invitational), Kevin Sutherland (2002 Dell Technologies Match Play), Henrik Stenson (2007 Dell Technologies Match Play), Ian Poulter (2010 Dell Technologies Match Play), Shane Lowry (2015 FedEx St. Jude Invitational), Russell Knox (2015 HSBC Champions). … Lee Westwood is making his 58th World Golf Championship start. He’s seeking his first WGC win. Lucas Glover, who qualified for last year’s TOUR Championship, is making his first WGC-Mexico appearance since 2010.